2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5

“So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. The One who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”

Sometimes we just get it wrong.

We cover up the true church with laws that segregate and cast out those of us deemed unworthy. Our church continually sins with harmful words, like “abomination” and “incompatible” that teach our children to hurt each other and even take their own lives in despair.

What we should know is that no one has to pass a test to receive God’s love. That’s it, sweet child; everlasting love is there waiting for you to just open your heart and accept the gift!

It’s time for our church to shed the tired old skin of exclusion. It’s time to let go of unhealthy regulations that separate us from each other and from God. Any law written by humanity to keep people out has an expiration date. But the covenant of love written on our hearts by God renews us eternally!

 A Season of Becoming: Restoring and being restored for the transformation of the church and world

Joy Butler

Joy Butler is a fourth generation Methodist, raised in the North Georgia conference, who has lived in Texas for fifteen years with her husband of twenty-two years. She won the national RMN "Voices in the Wilderness" laity award in 2013 for her work opening hearts, minds, and doors in the Rio Texas conference. She currently serves her community as a Coordinator for the Pride Interfaith Partnership in Austin.
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